Monday, 8 November 2010

The First Health Question Time on Tiredness & Fatigue

Tonight (8th November) we held our 1st Health Question Time upstairs at the Culm Valley Integrated Centre for Health.

The panel answered questions from the 40-strong audience on tiredness and fatigue. The opportunity to question your healthcare professionals: GP Dr Claire Matthews, Pharmacist Fraser Perman and CAM practitioner Simon Mills, with Chair Dr Michael Dixon is a new and exciting idea. And it worked. We have had so much positive feedback and everyone, the panel included, got something new from the experience. 

Dr Matthews reassured the audience that GPs are happy to see you if you feel usually tired. She talked about revising your medication with your GP if you find it is affecting your level of tiredness.

Pharmacist Fraser Perman talked about the importance of talking through the over-the-counter remedies you are taking with your GP or pharmacist if you are taking prescription medicines, as these can affect each other. He also talked through the services that pharmacists offer. 

Simon Mills told us about the wonders of cinnamon and its uses after a member of the audience told of her successes after taking a teaspoon every morning. As a result Fraser had some in his coffee this morning at the cafe. The uses of cinnamon were the talk of the cafe today. Simon also talked through what CAM practitioners can offer patients to help with tiredness and fatigue.

There were far too many gems of information to share here but I am going to list the key questions below and if you would like to know the responses given, please talk to Ruth Tucker (health facilitator) at the surgery and she can talk you through the self care opportunities available.

I feel more tired if there is dull light. Is there a reason for this?

I have had fibromyalgia and other health problems for at least 13 years, maybe longer. How can I improve the overwhelming of feeling tired all the time without reducing medication?

Is St John's Wort effective at treating fatigue?

In view of my lifestyle, why is my state of health as it is? (this question was raised by a man who gave details of his medical history)

Does the panel not think that given the current economic crisis, with subsequent cut backs and uncertainties there is inevitably going to be an increase in tiredness and fatigue at all levels? What measures, therefore, can the team suggest that the general public adopt?

I am particularly interested in any herbal remedies. Which I can take to help my fatigue?

40 year old patient had total hysterectomy -  5 years later  found low iron count (anaemia) suggested that the fatigue, joint aches and pains, breathlessness, loss of concentration, memory lapses, inability to do normal exercise programme etc. She thought was due to menopause and stress could be due to something more specific . How do we know when we should be seeking medical advice especially when symptoms could be explained as part of going through the menopause? 

The Expert Patients Programme supports living well and managing long term conditions including symptoms such as tiredness and fatigue. Do you agree that such programme are valuable?

I have tried to upload a video but it is just not happening. Please take my word for it that it was a fantastic event  and make sure you don't miss the next one. We are planning for it to be in early 2011 and the topic will be back pain. Keep popping into the cafe; ask Ruth to be on her 'contact me' list or keep logging on to the blog. 

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